Jogging and going to the gym often lose their appeal as we age. Few would argue that dancing is much more enjoyable. What’s more, it can benefit the heart, lungs, muscles as well as improving the joints and general well-being even more than cycling or that jogging session in the rain.
“As we age, the benefits of physical activity cannot be underestimated and dancing is a great way to keep healthy, have a great time and enjoy exercise” says Sam Turner of Policy Research Institute on Ageing and Ethnicity Charity.
Dancing and ballet is of course a great group activity, a fun way to meet those new life-friends that you haven’t met yet and a good way to boost self-esteem confidence and memory. “The social, emotional and psychological benefits of dancing are important, especially for those people who are at the risk of becoming lonely or isolated” says Sam Turner.
Heart, Health & Weight Control
Dancing can help lower your resting heart rate, your blood pressure and can even lower your cholesterol as well.
Depending on how quick or how energetically you move, dancing can give your heart and lungs a good cardiovascular workout with the added bonus of weight loss thrown in. In actual fact, dancing burns as many calories as swimming or cycling and with ballroom dancing 180 to 480 calories can be lost within an hour’s class - even if you jogged for an hour and burned off 430 calories it would never be half as much fun as if you danced them off.
Bone and Joint Health
As a weight-bearing exercise, dancing helps build, strengthen and maintain healthy bones.
The side-to-side movements of many dance steps strengthen the weight bearing areas of the body including those of the bones in the legs which helps to prevent the onset of osteoporosis in which the limbs become fragile, brittle and can easily break.
A research study by the University Of Maryland School Of Nursing found that dancing helps increase flexibility, co-ordination and the balance of any person, which researchers believe can lead to fewer falls in the mature adult.
Dancing may also help keep joints healthy, supple and mobile and because dancing is a low-impact exercise it doesn’t put strain or too much pressure on those difficult areas. In fact dancing is recommended for those who have had replacement bone and joint operations as a form of therapy, holistic treatment and after-care.
Mental & Emotional Health
When you learn a new dance, remembering the steps could help you keep your memory sharp, alert and active. Research studies have shown that through the use of dancing the likes of dementia prevention are highly expected.
A Study by the Eisenstein College of Medicine in New York followed 500 people aged 60+ who took part in a variety of activities including swimming, cycling, walking and dancing. Out of all the results gained from the study of these activities, researchers discovered that dancing was the only activity associated with a lower risk of mental deterioration. Meanwhile at the other side of the world, Greek scientists have found that dancing is makes a person more positive and with a great outlook on life; and a group of older women who took part in a Thessaloniki based study said that weekly dance classes helped increase their feelings of well-being, self-worth and newly found optimism.
Dancing has been proven to help you relax and take you mind off those troubling worries because of the amount of energy that your body uses during it’s dance sessions you will notice a more physically relaxed person after your class and will be able to sleep easily at night.